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Lesson 8 : The Necessity of & Ascertaining Bible Authority. Necessity for Authority in Religious Matters. It is imperative that we be concerned about Bible authority and how to ascertain it.

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Lesson 8:

The Necessity of & Ascertaining Bible Authority

necessity for authority in religious matters
Necessity for Authority in Religious Matters
  • It is imperative that we be concerned about Bible authority and how to ascertain it.
    • Unless we know how God (or the Bible) authorizes, we cannot be sure about anything we do or say in the realm of religion.
necessity for authority in religious matters1
Necessity for Authority in Religious Matters
  • Authority (an objective standard) is absolutely necessary in religious matters.
    • There is an obvious need for an objective standard in ordinary affairs.
    • In the same way, an objective standard is absolutely crucial to properly answering questions which pertain to man’s salvation from sin.
    • God has made it abundantly clear that the only belief or action (in religion) which is acceptable to Him is that which is authorized by His word.
      • “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col. 3:17).
necessity for authority in religious matters2
Necessity for Authority in Religious Matters
  • The New Testament is the Divine pattern for us today.
    • In Genesis 6, Noah was given a pattern for the ark.
    • In Exodus 25, Moses was given a pattern for the tabernacle.
    • In the New Testament, God has given mankind the pattern for building his life.
    • The pattern nature of the New Testament is inherent in the very fact that it is the Lord’s New Testament (cf. Matt. 26:28; Heb. 9:15; Gal. 3:15).
    • The fact that the New Testament is designed to be our pattern is emphatically declared in numerous passages.
    • God expects us to walk according to and to live in harmony with the divine pattern (Matt. 28:20; Eph. 5:11; 2 John 10; John 14:15; 15:14; 1 John 5:3). 
necessity for authority in religious matters3
Necessity for Authority in Religious Matters
  • God will not tolerate that which is not authorized.
    • Whatever is not authorized by God is not acceptable to God, even if it is “intended to be” acceptable.
      • Cain’s worship was not acceptable to God.
      • Israel’s worship was not acceptable to God in Malachi’s day.
      • The worship of the Pharisees and scribes was not acceptable to God.
    • The Bible often uses the word “strange” in the sense of “not acceptable because not authorized.”
      • Nadab and Abihu “offered strange/profane fire…” (Lev. 10:1-2).
      • “King Solomon loved many strange women” (1 Kings 11:1).
      • Israel did “great evil…in marrying strange/pagan wives” (Neh. 13:27).
      • Sodom and Gomorrah had “gone after strange flesh” (Jude 7).
      • We are warned about “…various and strange doctrines” (Heb. 13:9).
necessity for authority in religious matters4
Necessity for Authority in Religious Matters
  • We must know how God does not authorize.
    • God does not authorize upon the basis of:
      • My personal likes or dislikes.
      • What pleases me.
      • Erroneous conclusions that I may reach.
      • My opinion or the opinions of others.
      • What is popular.
      • Consensus or thinking of the majority.
      • What a well-known or highly respected brother says.
      • Human traditions or creeds.
      • My inability to “see any harm in it.”
      • Long-standing practices or “what we’ve always done/believed.”
      • What I feel in my heart.
      • Experiences that I have had.
      • My sincere claim, “I’m doing this in God’s name.”
      • The Old Testament.
  • c. Remember: whatever is not authorized by God is not acceptable to God.
necessity for authority in religious matters5
Necessity for Authority in Religious Matters
  • We must stand on authorized Bible truth and avoid the destructiveness of extremes.
    • Bible truth is our only standard of authority.
      • Man’s tendency is to react from one extreme to an opposite extreme.
      • Extremes breed extremes.
      • Truth lies between extremes.
    • To one extreme, man “adds” his will to God’s will.
      • He makes laws God did not make.
      • He treats matters of opinion as matters of faith.
      • He seeks to bind where God has not bound.
    • To another extreme, man “takes away” from God’s will.
      • He disregards laws God did make.
      • He treats matters of faith as matters of opinion.
      • He seeks to loose where God has bound.
necessity for authority in religious matters6
Necessity for Authority in Religious Matters
  • We must stand on authorized Bible truth and avoid the destructiveness of extremes.
    • In backing away from one extreme, individuals often fall into the other extreme.
      • We must be very careful to stay on the mountain top of Bible authority.
      • We must not fall off this sacred mountain of Bible truth to either extreme. There is destruction and death on both sides!
    • In our postmodern culture, new “standards” or “extremes” are being set.
      • Postmodern man dismisses God’s authority and is unwilling to make any judgments.
      • Postmodern man treats matters of faith and opinion as relative—there are no absolutes.
      • Postmodern man is tolerant of all views, unwilling to judge any view and sets each man as his own authority.
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Necessity for Authority in Religious Matters
  • God demands Biblical authority for a Christian’s work and worship.
    • The Scriptures teach that in Christian work and worship we must do only that which is authorized by the Word of God.
    • It is possible for human beings to ascertain that which is authorized by the Word of God.
    • It is possible for human beings to practice in Christian work and worship only that which is authorized by the Word of God.
    • How does a Christian ascertain Scriptural authority for his actions and attitudes?
    • That is the focus of the remainder of this course.